No person shall engage in tattooing without first obtaining a tattooing permit from the Environmental Health department. To obtain a tattoo permit, the artist must apply by completing the application with the required fee. A permit is valid for one year from the date of issuance and is not transferable from one location to another.

Upon receipt of an application and fee, the department performs an inspection to determine compliance with the rules. Areas inspected are the facility construction and cleanliness, instruments, equipment, and tattooing procedures.

Items noted during the Tattoo inspection include:

  • Handwashing and glove use
  • Blood and body fluid precautions
  • Construction and sanitation of the facility, in particular the tattooing room
  • Patron records
  • Tattoo instruments and equipment
  • Procedure
  • Aseptic technique
  • Sterilized tubes and bars or Single-use needles and disposal methods

How to know if your artist is permitted

Each artist posts a Tattooing Permit stating the artist name, location for which the permit is valid, and the dates of issuance and expiration. The permits are posted at the entry to the business or at the entry to the artist room. All tattoo artists have a basic working knowledge of bloodborne infectious diseases and ways to prevent them from spreading.

Note:  It is very dangerous to allow an unlicensed and unregulated person to perform a tattoo on you. If you would like to report a person tattooing without a valid permit in Johnston County, please contact our office at (919) 989-5180.

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Page last updated:  December 13, 2023

Todd Ramsey

309 E. Market Street
Smithfield, NC 27577

Phone: (919) 989-5180
Fax: (919) 989-5190

Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
(except holidays)

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About Us

Johnston County Environmental Health is an Accredited Health Department

No Smoking Indoors picture Call 1-800-662-7030,